February 25, 2014 at 6:11 pm

Veteran golfer Steve Elkington takes to Twitter to slam Michael Sam, but later backs off

Vetearn golfer Steve Elkington took a dig at Missouri football star Michael Sam on Tuesday. (Nick Laham / Getty Images)

Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. — Former PGA champion Steve Elkington caused more outrage on Twitter when he made a disparaging remark about Missouri defensive end Michael Sam while trying to criticize coverage of him.

Sam announced two weeks ago he is gay. He worked out this week at the NFL combine in Indianapolis and is projected as a mid- to late-round pick in the draft.

Elkington first tweeted that ESPN’s coverage of Sam was embarrassing. He followed with this tweet: “ESPN reporting Michael Sam is leading the handbag throw at NFL combine … No one else expected to throw today.”

Elkington later deleted his tweet and said he supported Sam.

“I’m for Sam,” Elkington wrote on Twitter. “I’m against ESPN telling me he’s gay ...”

Still, the first Tweet didn’t sit well with many of Elkington’s 60,000-plus followers.

One wrote: “BREAKING: Irrelevant golfer makes awful joke.”

Another wrote: “You are TRYING TO MAKE SURE YOUR PUBLICIST keeps his job aren’t you??”

The PGA Tour said Tuesday in a statement that public commentary that clearly is inappropriate falls under its regulations of conduct unbecoming a professional.

Elkington has a history of being controversial on Twitter, even recently getting in a heated spat with fellow golfer Ian Poulter.

Elkington, 51, of Australia, is a 10-time winner on the PGA Tour, including a victory at the 1995 PGA Championship. His last win was in 1999.